Crisis | New data shows shocking price of untreated mental health in the US

New data shows shocking price of untreated mental health in the US

Focus around mental health and wellbeing has increased tenfold in recent years, with the advent of the coronavirus, along with an increased spotlight on the welfare of staff.

However, mental health at work is an issue that is far too often overlooked. All workers rely on their jobs for financial stability, yet few are willing to discuss the impact mental illness can have.

In this way, mental health is something of a sleeper issue. It’s both a taboo that goes unnoticed, and a crippling issue that affects a vast proportion of the workforce.

The lack of communication around this topic leads to serious economic and social ramifications that cannot be ignored. In fact, according to recent research from HealthCanal, untreated workplace mental illness costs the US $3.7trillion each year.

The shocking findings were compounded by the news that annual spending on mental health treatment in the United States equates to $43billion, which is only 1.1% of the cost of unmet workplace mental health needs.

Another worrying finding is that there’s a huge disparity in this amount based on sector and industry.

For example, agriculture accounts for around $13million of the overall cost. Mining and construction equates to around $15million each, whilst public administration accounts for a much more significant $28million.

On the other end of the scale are finance & insurance, with $33million, and most worryingly, manufacturing with $55million.

Which states are investing correctly in mental health?

Unsurprisingly, the states in which many younger and more agile companies are based see a far greater return on their investment when it comes to mental health and wellbeing. California, the home of Silicon Valley, gain around $27billion per year due to high investment in recourses for staff.

Similarly, New York sees $21billion return on its investment. The likes of Florida and New Jersey see reasonable ROI at $11billion and $8billion respectively, whilst Ohio and Maryland see around $5billion return on investment.

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